Panama Canal Crossing on Norwegian Joy

Norwegian Joy Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 30

Overall rating:

3.6 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Joy

16 Night Panama Canal (Los Angeles To Miami)

Sail date: October 11, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Joy

Cabin number: 12276

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

We like: - any time dining - the water slide - the H2O - the Garden Buffet - the Joy RaceTrack We don't like: - the extreme difficulty to share a table at dinner with other couples - no life jackets in the cabin - the Joy is design for Asian market, poorly designed for US market - the need to book in advance for any show - the cost of the drinks - the minimum level at Casino to achieve complementary drinks, 5 x $1500 = $7500 compared to $1500 on Carnival Cruises Lines - the Theater, Cavern, Atrium... are all too small


4 out of 5
Too much paper work to sign, health statement then paper to sign because i used a passport card rather than a passport book. I use passport card to board on Carnival and never asked me to sign anything.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Food OK. Like anytime seating. Hate that it is so difficult to share a table with other customers. Drinks are way too much expensive, over $8 for a beer.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Joy racetrack could be fun but was down for maintenance for over a week. Also it only take a very slow driver not keeping his/her right to ruin the whole group experience. They should run some kind of qualifying test before admitting anyone. The water slide was fun.


3 out of 5
Maremba and Elements were good, but that's only 2 events in 16 days... Rest of the time almost nothing except for comedians

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Good service at customer service

Ship Quality

2 out of 5
This ship was designed for Asian market. There are too many places such as Cavern, Theater... and they are too small. Same for the pool, instead to have a nice large pool, only 2 small pools

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
We didn't like the bed near the bathroom and the desk near the balcony. We prefer Carnival arrangement with bed near balcony.

Ship tip

Don't count on getting anything from the "freebees" such as $50 discount excursions, 250 min WiFi package or drink package. Excursions in Cabo and Costa Rica got cancelled and Puerta Vallarta was refunded so no $50 rebates for these. When wifi does not work and you have the "free" package they just keep telling you to wait for another half an hour, only customers paying for it got some form of refund. A couple told me that they had to pay $600 in tips when using alcohol drink package, plus doesn't work for water or juices.

Ports of call

San Pedro (Los Angeles), California

3 out of 5
We rented a car ourselves

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

3 out of 5
Excursion cancelled due to bad weather

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

3 out of 5
Our tour guide lost us, we had to get a taxi to go back to the ship. Our tour was refunded

Mazatlan, Mexico

4 out of 5
Topless bus tour. Good visit of the city although the city is not that interesting

Acapulco, Mexico

4 out of 5
Acapulco has a lot of history. We just rent a taxi with an other couple for the day and went where we wanted for $25/ person, much cheaper than tours from NCL

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

5 out of 5
We took the NCL bus because of fear of traffic and missing departure. I love Antigua, I spent many days in Antigua and I acted as a tour guide for my spouse.

Panama Canal Transit

4 out of 5
Was on our bucket list. Frustrating not to disembark in Panama City / Colon but we did that in the past when flying to Panama

Oranjestad, Aruba

5 out of 5
We took Arubus $10 day pass to go snorkeling at Mangel Alto and lunch at Zeerover. We know this place very well as we flew there in the past.

Miami, Florida

3 out of 5
No excursion. We just drove our car from there back home.


5 out of 5
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